The 20th-century revolution in art
The 20th-century revolution marked no longer only a new beginning in political, financial and social setting but additionally in the world of art as well. Two original artists who influenced this change were Paul Cézanne and Claude Monet who individually invented new approaches of portraying nature but with different stylistic skills.
The card players by Paul Cezanne
The card players by Paul Cezanne is a series of oil drawings which were painted during his final period in the early 1890s. The set includes five arts, and the forms range in some players, size and the setting in which this recreation is staged. Each painting depicted a peasant’s playing cards and immersed in their pipes. Cézanne chose the subjects to be all male, portrayed as concentrating on their game, eyes cast down focusing on the game at hand. In Cezanne’s series, each painting depicts two or more peasants silently smoking pipes and playing cards. Most of these were modeled on labors from his family estate called Le Jas de Bouffan, most of whom came to sit for him often. Cezanne employed a theme from the French and the Dutch genres painting of 17th century, which portrayed card games that were played by rowdy and drunkards in the taverns. Cezanne however, replaced these personalities with serious and stone-faced men in a simplified setting. He was known for painting images that lack emotions, narration, and general characterization as opposed to the most painting of that time which were quite emotional. After all, there are no signs of sentiments or dramas of the 17th century that were prominent.
Madam Monet and her son
Madam Monet and her son, also referred to as the stroll; French La Promenade, is an oil on canvas image painted by Claude Monet form 1875. The impressionist image portrayed Camilla Monet, his wife, together with their son Jean Monet when they were living in Argenteuil from 1871 to 1877 capturing them taking a walk on a windy summer day. Woman with a parasol was painted outside, perhaps in a single session of different intervals. Camille intended his painting to picture an illusion of a casual family taking a stroll instead of a formal portrait. He employed placement and pose to show that both his son and wife interrupted their stroll when he was capturing their likeness. Monet portrays brevity of the moment by using vibrant and bright colors in his painting. Moreover, sunlight is shining from behind Camille to brighten her parasol top and also the cloth flowing at her back. Furthermore, white colored reflections coming from the flowers beneath her touch her obverse with yellow. Monet spearheaded the French impressionist movement and literally invented its name. As an inspirational personality, Monet was critical in uniting its supporters together. His primary focus was to capture natural light and paint in the open air, and he later brought the techniques to its peaks whereby at various times of the day, he observed the same subject and in turn painted and captured in various classifications of paintings. He was a master of colors and a painter of atmosphere and light which earned him a remarkable degree of abstraction. He keenly observed different ways through which outdoor light affects nature. His method of portraying his paintings was not meant to be visible which is why his images are most effective when viewed from a distance, and yet it is always clear what his paintings are (Tucker & Claude, 123).
The difference between Cezanne and Monet
Cézanne’s works, on the other hand, depicted early evidence of what would later be known as the Cubist art movement which is the result of the response to impressionism. Both Monet and Cézanne observed a common thread in not painting concise and clear images of the world, but their methods of execution and presentation of ideas varied. Cezanne and Monet did not consider their ambitions regarding theories or goals because that is what they were avoiding. What they considered most were the methods, obsessions, and methods. It is vital to note these distinctions of who is an “Impressionist” and “Post-Impressionist.” Monet has always been considered as an Impressionist whereas Cézanne Post-Impressionist. It is with these intentions in mind that we can comprehend their art that was fundamental in modern art development (Glenson & Claude, 1070). Monet painted his images as an impressionist. He first envisioned in his mind before painting the real picture, and this is evident through a multitude of vigorous small strokes of pure color. The colors used were not deliberately mixed except for a few occasions where one color chances the other on the canvas and color layers were employed to bring out the image’s animated effect. For instance, Monet’s water comprises of numerous layered strokes of brushes with various colors to portray how light from outside is reflected away from its surface. On the other hand, Cézanne employed a much more uniform, mechanical tool, and also circumvented intimacy of Impressionism. Whereas Monet painted in vigorous, small brush strokes, Cézanne on the other hand, used dark lines and big flat brush strokes often giving his images an illusion of disorder. It goes without saying that Cézanne was very calculating and analytical while painting, whereas Monet was only interested in the effect of light on nature to bring out its bright beauty (Loran & Paul, 1780). Although Cézanne used sketches and drawings before painting on canvas, most of his work was done on the canvas itself. He found painting from nature inflexible and for him getting back to the scene of a landscape was often more challenging than accomplishing the art itself. Cézanne’s complex techniques of art are the reason why he repeatedly painted the same subject matter over and over again. Monet’s eye for detail did not escape his contemporaries. No wonder Cézanne once declared that “if Monet was only an eye, what an eye!” (Glenson & Bruce, 1064). Monet was obsessive. He was just like as artists motivated by an original way of looking at the world; this, however, does not alter his obsession in depicting light. He indeed professed his wish for having been "born blind to gain his sight and be able to paint objects without knowing what they were." That has he wanted an unobscured picture, and for him to acquire that, he would disregard all other possible ways of looking at the picture. In Paul Cézanne’s image, we see a group of men seated, smoking pipes and focusing on their game. This is contrary to Claude Monet’s painting which depicts the gaze of the motion. To achieve this, the artist plays around with colors, shadows, and the light to communicate and convey the movement of the wind. Wind from the swirl and the sun are the focal points of the painting. Also, the green of the umbrella is a way of connecting the hill to the parasol. We cannot see the other half part of the boy's body, and that is why Paul gives us the feeling that the slope is very deep. He uses only bright colors, for instance, green, blue, white, yellow in painting, which also gives us the impression of relaxation, somber, and a calm mood.
The impact of Post-Impressionism
Post-impressionism was the term used to label the reaction in the 1880s contrary to Impressionism. The Post-Impressionists disagreed with the Impressionist concern of naturalistic and spontaneous use of color and light. Instead, they upheld the emphasis on structure, order, and a more symbolic content. However, just like the Impressionists, they also emphasized the artificiality of the picture. The Post-Impressionists also believed in color being sovereign from composition and form as an aesthetic and emotional bearer of meaning. Both Post-Impressionist and Impressionist have over time been regarded as some of the most loved and most well-known artistic movements (Glenson & Bruce, 1067).
Whereas the two paintings The card players and Madam Monet and her son differ regarding setting and lighting, they also have similarities. This is evident in the theme that the painters tried to convey. In both paintings, we see a theme of love, family, togetherness, and communion. Madam Monet is seen taking a stroll with her son, which brings out the idea of love. On the other hand, The card players also depict a group of men playing cards and smoking pipes in a social setting.
Galenson, David W., and Bruce A. Weinberg. "Creating modern art: The changing careers of painters in France from impressionism to cubism." The American Economic Review 91.4 (2001): 1063-1071. Loran, Erle, and Paul Cézanne. Cézanne's composition: analysis of his form with diagrams and photographs of his motifs. Univ of California Press, 2006: 176-271. Tucker, Paul Hayes, and Claude Monet. Monet in the '90s: the series paintings. Yale University Press, 1989: 110-170.